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Molecular Clouds All the Way Down

7 May 2021, 19:51 UTC
Molecular Clouds All the Way Down
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Title: The Single-Cloud Star Formation RelationAuthors: Riwaj Pokhrel, Robert A. Gutermuth, Mark R. Krumholz, Christoph Federrath, Mark Heyer, Shivan Khullar, S. Thomas Megeath, Philip C. Myers, Stella S. R. Offner, Judith L. Pipher, William J. Fischer, Thomas Henning, Joseph L. HoraFirst Author’s Institution: Ritter Astrophysical Research Center, Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Toledo, Toledo, OH 43606, USAStatus: Accepted for publication in ApJL
Gas to StarsEach of the many hundreds of stars we can see with our naked eye, or the many thousands we can see with the aid of telescopes, has their own special story of how they came to be. Now self-gravitating balls of gas, these stars in the night sky began as clumps in dense molecular clouds. Once these clumps become large enough, they gravitationally collapse and form stars. In our own galaxy, the Milky Way, we can study this process directly, and use the observations to infer much about its workings in more distant galaxies.Since we know that dense gas is required to form stars, it is natural to ask what relationship there is between the two. In fact, the Kennicutt-Schmidt (KS) relation, tells us that there is a direct scaling between the mass of ...

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